Grantsville opened the 2005 baseball campaign with high expectations and Marcus Hamatake didn’t disappoint.
The Cowboy hurler mowed down 14, walked just two and twirled a nohitter to completely dominate a good Dixie squad, 2-0, Friday in the opening round of pool play of the Dixie- Pizza Hut High School Baseball tournament in St. George.
And Grantsville looked to open the season with two consecutive victories. The Cowboys raced to a 6-0 lead only to watch Carbon rally back with eight runs in the final three innings to steal an 8-7 victory over Grantsville Friday in pool play.
Wasatch exploded for seven runs in the second and third innings and rolled to a 10-4 triumph over GHS Saturday, also in pool play.
The Cowboys rallied from a 3-0 deficit to county neighbor Tooele with three runs in the third and another in the fifth and Hamatake struck out the side in the seventh to preserve a 5-4 victory over the Buffs in the placing game Saturday, also in St. George.
Grantsville erupted for a decisive 17-0 triumph over North Sanpete Monday at GHS in the home debut. The Cowboys now venture to Sandy Wednesday to meet Juan Diego in a preseason affair at 3 p.m. They will return home to host Woods Cross Friday, also at 3 p.m.
Grantsville now sports a 2-2 record on the season to date.
Grantsville Coach Travis McCluskey had hoped his team would do a little better than just two wins during the two-day tourney.
“We played OK,” McCluskey stated. “We didn’t do as well as I hoped we would. But 2-2 is OK. We let a couple get away from us in the Carbon and Wasatch games. But I liked our poise in two close games against Dixie and Tooele. We just need to keep working hard every day and continue to improve and we’ll see where we are when the season the ends.”
Grantsville 2 – Dixie 0
Hamatake opened the season with a gem and Ryan Willis scored both runs to vault the Cowboys to a hard fought victory over a talented Dixie team Friday in St. George.
The Flyers could only manage two base-runners for the entire game and neither would advance past first base on the hard throwing Hamatake on this day.
Grantsville broke a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth when Willis pounded a leadoff single and Chaz Fisher drew a walk. Kirk Fawson hit a ground ball to advance both runners and Derek Erickson belted a sacrifice fly to right field to chase home Willis and spot GHS a 1-0 cushion.
Willis once again spurred another rally in the top of the sixth. The Cowboy senior smacked a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacri-fice bunt from Fisher and raced home on a clutch two-out, RBI single from Erickson to stake Grantsville to the two-run cushion.
That would be all Hamatake would need on this day. The Cowboy senior struck out seven of the first eight Flyers batters he faced in the affair and never allowed a base-runner to reach past first base in the entire game.
Willis paced the Cowboy attack with two hits while Erickson and Hamatake provided one safety each.